A lot of people tend to take it as a given that mobility is the area of technology that sees the most innovation, change, and just plain old cool new stuff.
And for a while that was very much true. Each new Apple announcement heralded the beginning of how we would all start using mobile devices. And conferences such as Mobile World Congress (MWC) let all of the other major mobile players like Samsung and LG show off their cool new products and gadgets.
But that pace of change is clearly slowing. The last Apple announcement that seemed really cool was the Apple Watch, and even that is now starting to underwhelm. And last year’s Mobile World Congress didn’t really have a lot of cool new mobile stuff to show off, and the same looks to be true of this week’s MWC in Barcelona.
From a strictly smartphone and tablet standpoint, while there are plenty of quality devices out there that will make consumers happy, there really isn’t anything to make you sit up and think “I must have that!” A modular smartphone that makes it possible to plug in new capabilities? Nice. Some slim and capable new 2-in-1 tablet/laptops. Always welcome. But not really anything that’s changing the face of mobile computing.
Probably the biggest area of excitement at this year’s MWC was around virtual reality (VR). From Mark Zuckerberg’s Oculus, to Samsung’s neat new Gear, to HTC’s affordable Vive, there are some interesting and promising developments in VR.
But is this changing the way mobility works? Will we all be sitting in our trains staring into VR goggles constantly?
You never know, but my bet is on no.
VR will definitely be a cool technology and will change gaming, movies, and even how we experience live events like concerts and sports. But while it’s a technology that will be enabled by mobile, it’s not exactly a mobile technology.
Still, there were some cool new and useful products at MWC this year. What was one of my favorites?
Well, while alternative mobile interfaces like watches and smart car dashboards have become all the rage, put me down for still thinking that voice is one of the best ways to interact with your smartphone.
That’s why I was very interested in the new Sony Xperia Ear. This new earpiece ties into intelligent assistants to provide information, directions, and assistance in the easiest to use interface — audio. And it’s small and unobtrusive, vital for anyone who wants to avoid the dreaded “Bluetooth douchebag” look that most earpieces bring.
So this year’s MWC was definitely not a washout. And who knows — virtual reality may become the main way we interact in mobile settings. But I think that mobile devices may be entering the dreaded “mature technology zone.”
Is it because of mobile’s growing maturity that desktops are on the rise? Check out the free Aberdeen content, The Desktop Strikes Back: PCs Make a Comeback, and find out the reasons behind the PC’s recent surge in a mobile world.